The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 11.17.03


Put a little zing in your life - eat some horseradish

There are some foods that people either embrace or recoil in horror at the thought of eating. Horseradish is one of those foods.

This root helps keep the flu and cold at bay while keeping the sinuses open and although it is usually served as a condiment, it always packs a punch when used in sauces or as a rub for a winter rib roast.

Whether you make your own or prefer prepared horseradish, there are lots of opportunities to get the juices flowing during the next few months of cold weather. A blast of cold air can be tempered by a blast of hot radish and your tummy will warm as you incorporate this root into a cocktail sauce or add a dollop into a tall pre-dinner Caesar.

In the spring, I'll tell you how to grow this "root with roots" but until then I'll provide a use for that crock-pot that is tucked away in your cupboard. You didn't think you'd ever use it again did you?

Did you know thatů

  • Today, approximately six million gallons of prepared horseradish are produced annually in North America -- enough to generously season sandwiches to reach twelve times around the world.
  • Horseradish is still planted and harvested mostly by hand
  • Sales of bottled horseradish began in 1860, making it one of the first convenience foods
  • In the American South, horseradish was rubbed on the forehead to relieve headaches(Some folks still swear by it.)
  • Horseradish is added to some pickles to add firmness and "nip"
  • Before being named "horseradish," the plant was known as "redcole" in England and as "sting nose" in some parts of the U.S.
  • Horseradish has only 2two calories a teaspoon, is low in sodium, and provides dietary fiber
  • Researchers at MIT claim that the enzyme "horseradish peroxidase" removes a number of pollutants from waste-water
  • Germans brew horseradish schnapps. Some also add it to their beer
Here is a party dip recipe just in time for an early Christmas gathering.

Crock Pot Bacon Dip with Horseradish

5-6 bacon slices, finely chopped
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
3 T. prepared horseradish
4 T. finely chopped green onion
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 C. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

Cook bacon until crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In small-size slow-cooker stoneware, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, horseradish, green onion, garlic, cheddar, pepper and bacon bits. Stir well. Cover, and cook 1 hour on high setting, stir, cover and cook on medium heat thirty minutes. Serve or hold on low setting.

Use as a dip or try it over baked potatoes.